A matched pairs design is when you have different participants in two different conditions, but you match them according to certain variables, such as age, personality, gender, IQ etc.
For example, you may have –
|Participant 1 – Age 24, Male||Participant 2 – Age 24, Male|
|Participant 3 – Age 46, Male||Participant 4 – Age 46, Male|
And so on, so you ensure that both groups are pretty similar.
The control group is the group that does not experience the experimental condition. For example, if you were testing to see if vitamin tablets aid recall in exams, the experimental group would be given a vitamin tablet; the control group might be given a sweet, but would be told that it was a vitamin tablet.
This allows the researcher to compare the two groups.
The advantages of the matched pairs design are: –
The disadvantages are that: –
In the next blog, we will look at ways that we can try to control variables that might affect research.